A Toronto hotel for every style of traveller

From wonderful family places to achingly hip boutique properties. Toronto has somewhere close to 200 hotels to choose from. With so much choice, it’s hard to decide which one is right for your next business trip or vacation. With that in mind, here’s a handy guide to what kind of styles and amenities you can expect at some of the city’s better-known and newer properties.

For sports lovers

Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square.

Montreal-based Groupe Germain operates two boutique properties in Toronto and an ALT hotel at Toronto Pearson Airport. Their boutique hotels across the country (although none yet in British Columbia) offer stylish, European-influenced design and amenities. Rooms are sleek and cool without being overly hipster-ish, and they serve terrific breakfasts, which are included in your room rate and usually feature quirky granola mixes and great coffee. Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square is a few steps from the Scotiabank Arena (Maple Leafs and Raptors, as well as concerts) and a couple blocks from the Rogers Centre (Blue Jays). Guests will find lovely rooms with stark, stylized photos of well-muscled Toronto athletes. The lobby bar has a great view of the passing parade, and serves excellent food. When I was last there I had miso-grilled beef short rib. They serve a special blue cocktail when the Leafs play next door, and a red one if the Raptors are playing at home. Rooms in January from $269. 75 Bremner Blvd.

For history fans

The new Clockwork Bar at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

You can’t beat the Fairmont Royal York if you have an appreciation for a good story. It’s been one of the country’s classic hotels since it opened in 1929 (the building dates back even further). They recently did a bang-up job of refurbishing the old gal. The check-in area features paintings of famous Fairmont hotels across Canada, including the Fairmont Banff Springs and Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. The main-floor Clockwork Bar (the hotel’s famous clock was a place where families gathered to say goodbye to soldiers heading off to war, or to welcome them when they were coming home) is one of the most striking places in the city to have a drink or a bite to eat; a place that evokes a Great Gatsby-like glamour. Reign restaurant that features Canadian specialties done up with French flair, as well as imaginative cocktails. The location is outstanding; right across the street from Union Station and connected to the city’s vast underground shopping network. This is where Queen Elizabeth stays when she comes to town. Prince Harry? Um, we’ll get back to you on that. Rooms in January from around $229. 100 Front St. W.

For the celebrity set

The Bisha Hotel Toronto rooftop pool.

The Bisha Hotel Toronto might be the closest thing to Las Vegas in the city. It was built by Toronto nightclub impresario Charles Khabouth, so you get an idea of what’s in store. Front desk workers wear slick, black leather jackets, and the hotel’s signature scent is piped in as a welcoming embrace. Rooms feature lots of black and white and welcome splashes of bold purples or burnt orange. You’ll find prints from Andy Warhol on the wall and cool shots of rock stars and celebrities. It’s unlike any other hotel in the city that I’ve seen. One of the floors was designed by rock star Lenny Kravitz. The Mr. C Bar is dark and lush and probably best appreciated in winter. In good weather, head to the rooftop pool for fab city views and to soak up some rays or enjoy a meal at the sunny KOST rooftop restaurant. The on-site Akira Back restaurant is one of the best dining spots in the city. Rooms in January recently listed for $329 and up. 80 Blue Jays Way.

For families

Chelsea Hotel Toronto indoor pool.

The Chelsea Hotel Toronto has been a huge hit with families for decades. Kids aged 0-12 can check in at the designated Kids’ Check-in Desk and receive a welcome gift catered to their age group. The hotel can put in a two-bedroom Family Fun Suite with a kitchen, living room and kids’ corner, featuring a DVD player and Xbox with free access to video games and movies. Their kids’ program is based out of the Family Fun Zone on the second floor. It consists of the Kid Centre, Club 33 Teen Lounge and Family Pool with downtown Toronto’s only indoor waterslide (and a pool, of course). The hotel is just a couple short blocks from Yonge/Dundas Square and the Eaton Centre, and it’s just a block to the subway. In response to the increasing need for autism awareness , The Chelsea Hotel and Kerry’s Place Autism Services have collaborated to develop the first “Guests with Autism Comfort Package,” which includes social scripts to help with the understanding of the hotel and its amenities. Due to the sensory issues that affect some individuals with Autism, “Fidget Kits” are included in the package. Rooms were recently listed from around $149 and up for January. 33 Gerrard St. W.

For hipsters

The Broadview Hotel Toronto.

The Broadview Hotel is a solid, handsome 1891 structure that housed a strip club only a few years ago and had fallen into disrepair. The design folks and architects did a magnificent job bringing the building back to life. Rooms contain a “lovers kit” with a box of pasties, as well as ticklers and other bits that recall the building’s naughty past. The hotel is a nice boost for the Leslieville/Riverdale area of Toronto, a trendy district a couple kilometers east of, and an easy streetcar ride away from, downtown. Look for several outdoor patios overlooking downtown’s growing skyline and the east end. Rooms feature hardwood floors, turntables, a white-noise machine and other bits. The Civic restaurant advertises “elevated Canadian cuisine,” while the Rooftop Bar offers tempting drinks such as the Elderflower Smash, with aperol, elderflower, basil and lemon. Their website lists rooms from $212 for this month. 106 Broadview Ave.

For film and photo buffs

A room at Hotel X Toronto.

Located on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition a couple of kilometres west of downtown, Hotel X Toronto is a product of the folks at Library Collection, which includes several, highly-regarded boutique properties in New York City and the Aria Hotels in Prague and Budapest, properties often named as the best hotels in Europe. The hotel is connected to a massive sporting complex called TenX, which features four indoor tennis courts, nine squash courts, hot yoga facilities and more. Hotel X boasts an art gallery, a 250-seat theatre and an intimate screening room, making this a place that works in all seasons. Rooms (the smallest is around 350 square feet) and public areas feature spectacular nature photography from a Canadian artist sent around the world to get great shots. The 404-room hotel features an au courant, spacious design and a half-dozen or more outdoor patios.  The rooftop has several bars, a year-round pool and a lawn area for tanning. Views of the city skyline and Lake Ontario from the rooms and rooftop are fantastic. Part of the hotel is built on the foundation of a 19th century military barracks, which you can see through a glass floor. They also have new dining options. Rooms for January listed from $251. 111 Princes’ Blvd.

For luxury lovers

Louix Louis restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel Toronto.

The St. Regis Toronto was formerly The Trump, and was quite glitzy in an over-the-top, Trump kind of way. They did a remarkable job turning it into a fine, luxury hotel. Louix Louis might be the most beautiful restaurant in the city. There’s a two storey-bar with 500 types of dark spirits, and the interior is designed to look like the inside of a glass of whiskey (Canadian, of course). The food is exquisite. The Astor Lounge lobby bar is a great spot for drinks and afternoon tea on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The St. Regis does a daily sunset Champagne “saberage,” where a gentleman lops the top off a botte of champagne with a (we trust) very sharp sword. A great location for business folks, in the heart of the financial district. Prepaid rooms in January from around $415. 25 Bay St.

Others to check out

The Four Seasons Toronto has the city’s only restaurant from renowned French chef Daniel Boulud. The food is simply stunning, both to eat and to look at. Rooms are gorgeous, and you’re in the heart of trendy Yorkville. Rooms in January from around $600. 60 Yorkville Ave.

The Kimpton St. George is a lovely hotel on Bloor Street West that’s part of the InterContinental Hotels Group. The hotel offers hip surroundings at reasonable prices, and it’s super convenient for Yorkville, the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum. January rooms listed from around $164. 280 Bloor St. W.

The Anndore House is a lovely boutique property near Yonge and Bloor. Rooms have cute sayings on mirrors and doors, and you’ll also see Crosley turntables. The on-site restaurant, Constantine, is terrific, as is the bar. Rooms in January listed from $152. 15 Charles St. E.

The Drake has been attracting the achingly cool set for years on Queen Street West. They’re adding 32 more rooms this year and building a new lobby. Rooms from around $199. 1150 Queen St. W.

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